The Troubles

"The Troubles " the story is set in Belfast and the North East in 1969.
Seamus Webster and his family flee the riots in Belfast and come to live on Barnstaple Road in North Shields - where he takes up work as a crane driver in Smith's Docks his wife Annie finds a job in the Co-op in Whitley Bay - Seamus is good at DIY and gets lots of work decorating or fitting out new kitchens for people. His father Michael is serving a very long sentence when he is implicated in a
bombing of an army base- his skills as a bomb maker have been passed down to his oldest son and Stephen Mcgill is on the look -out for him as a bombing campaign has begun on mainland Britain. Newcastle has been chosen as the target - can Seamus avoid getting mixed up in this. Read what happens in this tense thriller.


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Brenda took out her books from her wooden desk with an inkwell  the inside of the lid was all marked with ink and carved names of former pupils, along the edge was chewing gum that had gone hard. She opened her English book and began to copy what had been written on the blackboard by Mrs Kerr. The old teacher was known as pissy draws to everyone and people hated having to go and ask her for something as the smell that emanated from her was quite over powering.

St Anslems Catholic School was run by eleven teachers who were strict but fair. It was a big change for her and her brother Liam, who had gone to St Michaels School in Belfast. It was run by nuns who made it their business to punish you for absolutely anything.

The only thing not punishable was breathing. Even then if you had a sniffle or a cough the nuns found a way to make you stop immediately. Most of the punishment came in the form of a thick leather strap that the nuns carried around with them and used with regularity.

Everything was taught parrot fashion. Woe betides anyone who fell behind with their work as they were severely dealt with.

Brenda was quite tall at five feet seven inches; she was on both the netball and the hurling team. There was a note sent home each week because Brenda refused to take a shower with the other girls.

The truth of the matter was because she was so tall and thin looking, she was ashamed to be seen with the other girls. She had no bust to speak of. All the other girls were well developed but Brenda’s’ chest was as flat as a pancake.

She would take a bath at home then look at herself in the mirror, there was nothing on her skinny frame and her mother made her wear a vest not a bra like the other girls.

“There’s nothing to be ashamed of her mother would say’ “I was a late developer and look at me.’

Her mother was right maybe one morning she would wake up and boobs would appear overnight. The buds were there alright but the fruit was slow to grow.

Her friend Janice Porterfield sat next to her she was very pretty with long blond hair, bright blue eyes, and a nice complexion. She was very popular with the other girls in the class too who all vied for her attention. She was very clever and seemed to excel in everything she did. She was made a prefect by her form teacher and Brenda thought if she became friendly with her then the rest of the class would like her too. Janice Porterfield’s father was a commander on board a luxury liner and was also on the chair of school governors. The headmaster of the school was Mr Edward Iverson who had been at the school for twenty seven years. He prided himself on his school and ran a tight ship.

The eleven members of his team had all been selected because of their experience in that particular field. Edward Iverson made sure his staff carried out their jobs to the highest standard. No pupil would leave his school without being properly educated he would say.

The bell sounded for the end of the lesson and Brenda picked up her leather satchel placed her homework into it and headed down the corridor. She caught up with Janet as she was going out of the gate and walked up the street towards Barnstaple Road. 

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